The first day of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings came and went with Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer and his health update as the headline story. While Meyer’s esophageal spasms dominated the front pages, there were plenty of other interesting things said by the SEC’s head football coaches.
Read what else Meyer and some of the other coaches had to say after the break!
Meyer on his 2010 team: “We have a bunch of good players still there, now. A little bit in 06, when we lost that whole group, we knew we were getting ready for a tough go. We have some really, really good players. They may not be the marquee name guys right now, but hopefully they will become that. You turn the page and keep going. Everything is in decent shape. Some guys have to step up and play, because we did lose some good players.”
Meyer on redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley: “Johnny Brantley has three years under his belt. That’s the way it should be. It’s a scary deal now when you take over without learning how to play.”
Meyer on losing to Alabama in the 2009 SEC Championship: “We missed 24 tackles and had a couple of turnovers, so we didn’t play the way we took great pride in. That’s what happens when you play that way against great people. You get exposed.”
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier on Brantley replacing Tim Tebow: “Doug [Johnson] tried to replace Danny Wuerffel [in 1997]. Doug was out playing baseball and drinking beer all summer. Doug’s a bright young man, got a good job down there and [is] doing very well … but that was his summer prior to starting for the Gators.”
Spurrier criticizing QB Stephen Garcia: “Hopefully Stephen Garcia can come around and make a stronger commitment to play. If he’s going to be your quarterback, then everybody’s got to believe in him. We’re hoping Stephen will show just a little bit stronger commitment level and get himself better prepared to play each week and play better.”
Alabama head coach Nick Saban on defending the title: “I think the biggest issue is not allowing people to be complacent, to be satisfied, making people aware you have to focus on the same set of processes the first time if they want to repeat and do it again. […] It can’t be about trying to prove something, because you’ve kind of already done that. It needs to be about: Do you want to be the best you can be? Are you driven to be the best player you can be? Are you driven to have the intensity, the sense of urgency, the intelligence. Are you going to work to do the things you need to do to be your absolute best? And that’s not normal. Everybody thinks it’s normal, but it’s not normal.”
Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley on how he differs from Lane Kiffin: “I watch other coaches and how they handle themselves. You can learn a lot of what to do and what not to do. It wasn’t my style, but that’s Lane’s style. I’m not here to criticize his style. Everybody’s a little different. I don’t think it helps you win football games getting in verbal attacks with each other. […] At the end of the day, a good headline in February or March isn’t going to win you any football games.”
Georgia head coach Mark Richt on his job security: “My mindset has always been: Let’s do what I think we need to do to succeed and try not to be influenced by anything other than the people who are closest to the program. And quite frankly, my goal has always been to try to conduct myself in a way so that the university would be proud. So I’m trying to do things […] with a lot of integrity and a lot of character. And hopefully we’re winning games and we’re still educating young men. […] Of course you want to win. Absolutely. But also we still want these guys to get their degrees; we want these guys to be preparing for life after football. We think you can have it all.”
Special thanks to the SEC, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution for some of the quoted material above.